Oh no they di-int!
For the past few years, conservatives have been enthralled with the “philosophical” ideas of Objectivism figurehead Ayn Rand. Sales of her novels are through the roof; she’s required reading for Paul Ryan’s staff according to some; Libertarianesque Republican Sen. Rand Paul is named after her.
Rand has long been held in cult-like reverence by loyal, capitalism-loving fans. Now one Christian group is attempting to condemn the reverence. The efforts of one group — along with its recently released video — are picking up steam. More than anything the video highlights the core differences of a diverse conservative coalition at their philosophical roots.
The video, by American Values Network, features one clip after another of Rand decimating the concept of religion and God. Sen. Ron Johnson gets called out for referring to Rand’s Atlas Shrugged as his “foundation book.” Apart from having her name, the American Values Network, considers it damning that Sen. Paul is “a fan.”
The group’s site lays out — perhaps unintentionally — the conservative divide in very stark terms: Christians Must Choose: Ayn Rand or Jesus. The group’s background, however, is less than obvious. AVN heavily pushed healthcare reform as a “moral values issue,” strongly supported the government’s stimulus efforts and promotes climate change legislation. AVN’s positions may explain why USA Today identified them as a “liberal” group.
Republican second coming wünderkind Ryan is receiving the brunt of Christian criticism lately.
Apart from saying that “Ayn Rand did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism,” Ryan — a professed Catholic — has also been confronted by enthusiastic practioners in public. At Christian Conservative leader Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Conference last week, Ryan was hounded by James Salt of Catholics United, who asked, “Why did you choose to model your budget off the extreme ideology of Ayn Rand rather than base it on the economic justice and values of the Bible?”
In response to the hounding, Ryan noted that he has more than one Bible. And besides, you can’t create national budget based on the economics of the Bible.